Cabo for Thanksgiving, Christmas and racing

This year for Christmas my parents gave us our gift a little early. We were all gifted a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo. And it was AWESOME.

Image

We were there for 6 days and it was seriously the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Seriously. I just reflected on all 35 Turkey Days and this one takes the cake. No work, no phones just fun.

Image

ImageImage

It was around 80 degrees the entire week so we spent A LOT of time poolside.

Image

Cannonball!

Image

Image

During the last few days the kids wanted to attend “kids club” at the resort which gave us a few hours to explore

ImageImage

And ride sea-doos!

Image

Image

View before a morning run

Image

Most importantly we all got to spend a week together with no distractions. That was the best part of all.

Image

Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you so very much.

And now we have just a few weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be ringing in 2014. We will be staying home (hooray!) and my FIL “Pops” will be staying at our house to celebrate. We are so glad that he will be here with us. It’s our first Christmas without Mama Kay and it’s going to be tough.

I will be running the inaugural SD Holiday Half (which is close to a sell out so register now if you want to run) while he is here and if LD can get everyone out of the house it will be Pop’s first time to see me run. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’ll get it done.

Speaking of racing, here is what I am registered for in 2014

January: Carlsbad Half

Feb: SD 10/20

April: Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon

November: New York Marathon

I will add some shorter races in if I am up to it. It still blows my mind that I BQ’d and got into NY. It’s going to be one heck of a year…now if I could just get motivated to train.

~~

1. What did you do for Turkey Day?

2. Any plans for Christmas?

3. Races?!

Posted in running | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

My brother’s first marathon- my recap

Long Beach. I had no idea what to expect. It was my brother’s first marathon and I knew that no matter what we were getting across that finish line.

IMG_3703

Since we were staying at different hotels I sent Joe a text to let him know I was on my way to the start around 5 a.m. We decided to meet at the portapotties since it was well lit and made it easy for one last bathroom break.

IMG_3721 IMG_3725

We made our way down to the start and shoved out way into the crowd right behind the 4 hour pacer. I figured that would force us out slow so that I could try to help keep an even split (goal) and if Joe had anything left in the tank we could try to pick it up at the end.

A few minutes before the gun went off I got to meet Sandy. We have been at so many of the same races and always miss one another. Really cool that we found one another in the dark in a large crowd!

Gun went off and away we went.

Goal was to go out nice and easy and then get comfortable around 8:50-9:00 pace. Based on Joe’s training runs I knew that would be a great pace and it could mean a finish right around that 4 hour mark. The weather was abso-freaking-lutely perfect and we tried to get into a groove pretty quickly.

Mile 1: 8:58

2: 8:48

3: 8:53

4: 9:01

5: 9:06

6: 9:05

As we past the 10k mark we celebrated being 25% done. We were right alongside the water and it was nice and flat. Beings that there is no such thing as flat in my hood this was a sweet change!

IMG_3734

Mile 7:  9:02

8: 9:01

9: 9:00

10: 9:01

11: 8:58

12: 9:16

13: 9:05

We crossed the half way point under 2 hours and at that point it was looking like we had a solid chance of staying on track for that 4 hour finish. I remember we high fived and just kept chugging along.

Mile 14: 9:14

15: 9:21

I remember Joe telling me he needed the bathroom but when we passed the portapotties there was a long line. I knew he didn’t want to stop and wait as that could be a recipe for disaster. I think it was at 15 that he finally got to go to the bathroom? I just remember taking his water bottle to fill it up and then we continued on.

16: 9:32

17: 10:12

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 8.34.28 PM

At mile 18 is when things took a turn. I knew we had been slowing down so I went into motivational coach/cheerleader. Seeing my sweet, hard working brother hit the wall was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I felt helpless as we rode the roller coaster of emotions. There was nothing I could do or say to make it better but I just kept trying. We decided together to move onto a 5:1 plan to try to help get through. Run 5 minutes, fast walk a minute and transition back to running.

IMG_3733

Mile 18: 11:31

19: 10:47

20: 12:56

Around 20 I started to use my talk to text on my Iphone to let the family know where we were and how we were doing. I’ll give Siri some credit for doing a decent job of getting it right. Seriously, I talk to text messages to my best friend A LOT and Siri royally jacks them up.

21: 12:19

22: 11:40

Around 22ish there was a group of boyscouts handing out otter pops. We hoarded them! Every race should have otter pops. I’m serious. I think we talked about how good those otter pops tasted for the rest of the race.

23: 13:03

There was a hill at this mile and we ended up in a sea of walkers. Hills in the late miles can be soul crushing. I wasn’t going to let the hills destroy our race. We went into run the flat walk the hills mode and it worked. Well, worked as well as it could, right Joe?!

24: 13:19

The last few miles of a marathon are always hard. Always. I think these miles were especially hard because Joe wanted his legs to go so badly but the mental battle makes it tough. More than once we held hands as I told him we were almost there. He was almost done. He was going to be a marathoner!

25: 12:33

26: 11:24

.2: 8:39

This is when we saw our family. They were at 26.10 screaming and shouting and holding up signs. They were the motivation that pushed us through that last .10

IMG_0750

IMG_0747

We crossed the finish line together in 4:28. Joe did it. He battled through all 26.2. We hugged and cried and took pictures. We reunited with the family and celebrated a finish that was 24 weeks in the making.

IMG_2935

My brother hated running. Loathed it. And now he is a marathoner. All it took was a little courage- and believing that there is so much more after that first step.

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 8.33.07 PM

~

“But if what we hope for we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:25

Now it’s time to gear up for Boston training. I.can’t.wait.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Ready ready ready ready…ready to ruuuuuuuun

It’s pouring. Like real rain. Lightening and everything.

IMG_3082

This is my view while sitting in traffic on the way home. I love the rain so if I have to sit in a sea of cars at least I get to listen to raindrops. In ridiculous news I saw 5 accidents within 4 miles. I’m not kidding. When it rains in these parts people totally lose their minds.  FACT: I am over my commute.

The rain is due to be gone by tomorrow and the forecast for Sunday is looking pretty darn sweet:

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 8.38.04 PM

That’s right. It’s time for me and my baby brother to run Long Beach

After 24 weeks of running, running and more running he is SO ready

IMG_3139

We plan on having a lot of fun. Yes, it is possible to have fun for 26.2 miles. Especially when you have a running partner like me who raps, rocks and can tell hilarious stories for hours on end. Like the time I called the cops on a kid I caught tagging the freeway. “Siri, call the sheriff.” Yes that happened. And I’m laughing as I type it. But really, if you are going to deface property don’t do it at 5:30 p.m. for everyone to see. Especially me, keeper of the peace.

20130525-201334.jpg

But back to Long Beach.

If you are out there please say hi. Give a high-five. Run with us. Whatever floats your boat. We will take all of the motivation that we can get!

For now, I’m out. Need to catch up on Nashville and Parenthood..oh, and sleep. Yeah. I will be blogging from the LBC when we arrive on Saturday! WOOOHOOO! Run strong, run smart, have fun!

Oh! And just because it’s October, this is my favorite picture of my boy from 2007. I hope this makes you smile…

hunterpumpkin

See you in a few days :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Back from my blogging hiatus

My last blog post was 3 days before I started my new job. 3 days before my world as I knew it would turn into total chaos. 12 hours days. Long commutes. Inundated. Missing my family. Missing “normal” life. Missing…balance.

Then I took off for SF got to see my BFFL.

IMG_3234

IMG_3203

And  while I was there I ran this race

IMG_3235

IMG_3211 IMG_3219

It was awesome. It was the first time I ran with a pace group and talked to people for the entire 1:40.

IMG_3215

And then the kids started school and we had to try to find “balance” again. It’s been hectic. We still haven’t totally figured out our schedule but we’re getting there.

Just a few days after school started my BFFs (and their families) came to the rescue and we had a super fun weekend together. Best friends are like angels. Without wings. They restore balance with lots of love and much needed laughter!

IMG_3372 IMG_3373

And I ran a few more races

Screen shot 2013-09-08 at 6.50.35 AM Screen shot 2013-09-08 at 6.54.39 AM

And had fun doing them.

But since then it’s been all business

IMG_3247

IMG_3138

My coach is a beast!

My coach is a beast!

IMG_3529

Long Beach is in 1 1/2 weeks. It’s my brother’s first marathon. And we’re running it together.

That’s right.

Look out world. There is going to be a whole lot of sexy on the race course.

IMG_3013

And then there will be some downtime. Yoga has been back in full force. I need it. I have 2 big races coming up in April.

IMG_3475

Boston is my A race.  I still can’t believe I’m in. I’M IN! Big Sur is my be one with nature race. I cannot freaking wait.

I’m going to need lots of mental and physical strength. It’s going to be tough. There will be lots of ups and downs and, therefore, lots of blog talk. That’s right. I’m back people. Lots of rad stuff is in store. Hope you’re ready.

IMG_3542

Posted in running | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Why I Strength Train (and you should too)

If you saw my tweet last Sunday you already know that my brother celebrated a running milestone. He ran 12 miles without walking. And he did it well under 2 hours with me chatting his ear off. That’s huge! So very proud of him. We are just a few weeks away from hitting his PDR (personal distance record) and before we know it he will be running 26.2 miles. You know just a few years ago he was running a 12:30 pace..but I’ll let him share his story with you as soon as he is ready.

joeruns

~

Strength Training

I haven’t talked about strength training in a while. Truth is that I had to reduce my lifting/squatting/get strong days during my Ojai training cycle due to time constraints. Now that I have a little downtime before Boston madness begins it’s back to focusing on getting and remaining strong.

Hardcore

Hardcore

Strength training is one of the single most important aspects of my marathon (and any other distance) training. I injure easily and, as many of you know, I had several frustrating training cycles. I learned to depend on strength workouts to keep my body strong and ready to run. The result? I’ve remained injury free and have seen improved finish times.

Today I want to share a workout (or two) and encourage you to give it a try. Building a stronger core (and booty) will help support the muscles you use to propel you off of the ground. If you incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan you will become a more efficient runner. Want to get faster? Strength train. Want to remain injury free? Get strong.

A few years ago I posted about my medicine ball and core workout. Now let’s get into a few circuits.

Workout #1 Total Body Workout : 3 rounds with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

Squats (1 min)

Push ups (1 min)

Bicycle Crunches (1 min)

Mountain Climbers (1 min)

Hip Raises (1 min)

Plank (1 min)

Weighted Twist (I use a medicine ball or kettle bell) (1 min)

Donkey Kicks (1 min)

The above circuit can be done using only body weight. In lieu of a weighted twist you can sit on the floor in a c-position and do rotating knee touches. Your obliques will thank you!

 Workout #2 Glutes (Remember operation get my booty better?) This takes me 20 minutes or so and is courtesy of WHM.

Click here to review a glute circuit I use.

I continue to practice yoga (love!) and have also started to incorporate insanity workouts in my routine. I actually like them a lot more than I thought I would.  A spot in my garage is being turned into a little home gym/workout space since I am heading back to work next week. Yup, BCOD workouts (not just runs) will be happening. I will also be back to tweeting about office workouts! Yup, the office push up, lunge and desk dip challenges will be back in full effect.

As I come across workouts I like I usually put together a routine and can share here if it wil help some of you out. I also like to take workout from WHM/MH and load them onto my iPod and take them to the gym with me. This is a great option for those of you who are like me and need a set workout.

~

Do you strength train? Why or why not?

~ I used to be intimidated but after I switched gyms a few years ago my fear went away :)

Posted in running, strength training | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

4th of July 15k and a bunch of other stuff

Last week I ran the Coronado 15k for my 3rd consecutive year. I was really excited for this race as I really felt like I was ready to easily break 1:10. Yeah it’s always humid but the course is flat as a pancake. Running 7:20′s should feel easyish compared to the constant hills I am used it. Plus, I was around 1:09 at the 15k point at RNR and that was with some uphill. This should be a big PR.

Should have been.

It wasn’t. It was actually brutally hard.

I was up a 4 a.m. with a headache the size of Texas. Made my way down to the bay by 5:4o a.m. and battled all of San Diego for a parking spot. Finally got situated 1.5 miles away and ran to the start. I never complain about a warm up :)

IMG_2959

The race was supposed to start at 7 but didn’t end up starting until 7:30. As soon as the gun went off I just couldn’t find a groove. I went out way fast. At the .75 mark I was at a 6:55. I put on the breaks and got myself down to 7:15ish but just felt off. Every step was a struggle.

Each mile I got slower and slower and felt worse and worse. I haven’t felt this bad during a race in a long time so I just kept trying to remind myself that running is fun. It didn’t feel fun but sometimes we can trick our minds. I talked to a few people around me and just kept hoping to see that finish sign.

Finally, mile marker 8 appeared and I knew I could hang on for another 1.3

I crossed the finish line in 1:10:32 (a slight PR, 4th in my age) and then got backed up in the marked off finish corral line not realizing that the timing mat was in the middle of a sea of people. I had never seen that before. This race still collects the paper hang tags (from the bottom of the bib) so there is always a back up at the finish. By the time I actually got across the timing mat I think I ended up with an official time of 1:10:38? Times are still unofficial. I wonder how many people were mad about that? Not a big deal but that could send some serious competitors right over the edge lol!

Runners battling to see their finish time

Runners battling to see their finish time

I was so happy to be done. 9.3 miles felt like 30 that day. At least the view was pretty and I got to sport my Red, White and Blue!

IMG_2962

IMG_2972

I made the 1.5 mile jog back to the car. I knew the parade was getting ready to start so I needed to get off of the island ASAP if I planned on spending time with my family that day!

IMG_2967

On my way home my headache came back with a vengeance. No matter how much I drank I felt thirsty…and hungry…and miserable.

I sucked it up and got myself together for a family cook out but should have known that head cold 2013 was coming on. Such a bummer because I love the 4th of July!

IMG_2979

I took the 2 days following the race off to just reset and get better. It felt so good to just let myself recover.

The following Sunday I got back on the road with my brother. We ran 11 sweaty miles and celebrated yet another week of 26.2 training.

IMG_3013

He is crushing his training plan. I should ask him to write a guest post on his past race experience, weight loss and his road to 26.2. He has an incredible story y’all.

What do ya think Joe? Yes? No? Maybe?!?!

Next race is coming up on August 4th. I am running the SF Giants Half and CANNOT WAIT!!! I’m bringing the eye black back. Hey, you can take the girl out of NorCal, but you can’t take the NorCal out of the girl. Even LD is running. I can’t wait to be “home!”

~

Life Stuff

I officially accepted a new job and start on July 22nd. I am nervous, excited and well, I don’t know. Indifferent maybe? This opportunity fell into my lap and I feel very lucky so maybe it’s just nerves. Or maybe it’s because I worked for my last company for so long and change is scary. I didn’t look for this job, it found me. When opportunity knocks I have learned to open the door and take a chance.

Better go dig out the high heels. Wish me luck!

~

Have you transitioned to a new job? Was it difficult?

Anyone else race during the past few weeks? I need reports people!

Next up…strength training and how it helps a runner out.

Posted in running | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Why hello there!

Is it really almost July?! This is insane. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my BQ and now it’s time for fireworks. 2013 is literally going by in a blink. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

IMG_2833

My big man graduated Kindergarten. I was so glad that I got to volunteer during his last week of school!

IMG_2609

Mini me moved out of the “little kid class” and will officially start Pre-K this fall. So we had a girls day at Disney to celebrate. Bring on the cotton candy…and coffee…

IMG_2883

California Adventure earned my love ever since they opened Starbucks.

My FIL came for a visit! It was so good to have him here. We hadn’t seen him since Mama Kay passed so it was NEEDED.

IMG_2919

This is my first summer home with the kids. Man, it is so much fun! I am bummed that I missed out getting to do this when they were babies, but I feel so lucky that I am getting to do it now. Focusing on the moment and enjoying it.

IMG_2819

I started training with my brother who will be running his first marathon at Long Beach in October. He has finished 2 half marathons but since then has lost more than 80lbs! YES 80!

IMG_2905

Isn’t that incredible? We will be getting into double digits this weekend and I’m sure he is REALLY looking forward to me yapping his ears off for hours on end. What?? Good convo makes time fly.

IMG_2922

This was the view during a sunrise run this week. Stunning. This is one of the many reasons I love BCOD runs. So quiet and so beautiful.

IMG_2914

I’ve gotten back to including strength training in my weekly routine. While I never totally cut it out I did have to scale back during marathon training due to time constraints. It feels so good to feel strong again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I love to hashtag #dowork. What you put into it is what you will get out. Keep a log.When things aren’t going the way you want them to look back at your training and see where you need to adjust.

I am running a 15k on the 4th of July (one of my favorite races) and then will have a month off until the Giant Half. Pretty excited for that race. I am bringing the eye black back. Oh yes, it’s happening.

~

What are your plans for the 4th? Anyone else running?

- I will definitely be sporting the Red, While and Blue!

Ahhh one last thing before I take off.  I want to leave you with this quote from my pastor. It really hit home for me and as we head into the second half of the year I want to encourage you all take a moment to reflect. Remember what’s important- it will make each day a whole lot easier :)

“It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you DO with what you have…What you do with a little is what you will do with a lot…but don’t get so focused on the future that you miss out on the moment” – pastor Matthew Schlesinger

WORD.

Posted in running | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments